Tanzania is a favoured destination for trophy hunting and this industry contributes greatly to the country's economy and wildlife conservation. By far the greatest number of animals shot by tourists annually is from Selous Game Reserve. Problems associated with the hunting industry include high demand for trophies, short-term profit making, and various unscrupulous practices on the ground, which together undermine the sustainability of the industry. Tanzanian wildlife authorities require scientific information on wildlife populations so that they can make informed decisions especially in setting hunting quotas. This paper aims at providing some insights into the matter. Trophy measurement records or quality from the North-western Sector of Selous for the period 1999-2004 were analyzed using SPSS 11.5 for Windows. Based on that analysis this paper assesses the quality of trophies from the Sector and finds that there was a decline from 1999 to 2004. In the study area, hunters increased gradually from 1998 to 2004. There were definite declines in trophy quality in all five species although in hippos' the trend was not as clear as in the rest. The implication is that populations of these big five may be declining in the study area. It is recommended that more research on trends in trophy quality be conducted arid a mechanism to make this information available to all stakeholders be developed.
Keywords: Hunting, Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania, trophy quality, science
Taitz,ania J. Agric.Sc; (2007) Vol. 8 No.1, 31 - 38